Little Ones and Literacy: Reading as its own form of medicine

- Young patients at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg don't have to leave their room to escape to another world.  Volunteer reader Sharon Wurster brings books to life. 

"Puff, puff, chug, chug, went the little blue engine," read Sharon, who later added, "I really like doing the voices of the characters when I read a story." 

Sharon is part of a program called Little Ones and Literacy.

"Listening to somebody read improves their vocabulary," Sharon continued.

It's not just about reading to the kids, but also engaging with them.

"Some of the children really don't have a lot of visitors, so sometimes, they just really need to get out of bed, get somebody to talk to, get somebody to play with," Sharon continued. 

Sharon can relate to them. She knows what it's like to be stuck in a hospital bed. 

"I do have a genetic defect called Turner's syndrome. It's why I’m very short. I’m 4-foot-8, which is kind of fun when I go in with the kids. Especially the little ones." 

Reading stories and lifting spirits: "I do whatever is going to make the child's day a little bit better." 

Up Next:

Up Next

  • Little Ones and Literacy: Reading as its own form of medicine
  • Seniors' quality of life improved by low-cost, free equipment
  • Middle-schooler donates 150 pairs of shoes to younger students
  • Expanding minds through glass art
  • After 46 years, popular Bern's server retires
  • Foundation returns women's confidence during illness
  • Program shapes Bay Area's future leaders
  • Family helps battle pediatric cancer -- by running
  • Baby supply drive to benefit Metropolitan Ministries
  • Tampa teen graduates high school, college in same month